UCLA not satisfied with being 'close'

October, 27, 2013
10/27/13
2:22
AM ET
EUGENE, Ore. -- Jim Mora didn't want to hear it.

He didn't want to hear it from the reporters gathered before him after the game, his players seated around him in the locker room or his athletic director waiting to give him a hug near the team bus.

It wasn't good enough.

UCLA and Oregon were tied 14-14 with less than three minutes left in the third quarter, but the final score was all that mattered to Mora as he stood in front of his team. Oregon outscored UCLA 28-0 to finish the game, turning the Bruins' upset bid into a 42-14 rout.

"We didn't come up here to play them close," Mora said. "We didn't come up here to give it the old college try. We came up here to win the game and we didn't get it done and it's disappointing. I told the guys we played hard but playing hard is not enough."

There might have been a time when UCLA football would have been happy staying with Oregon for three quarters, but that was before Mora took over. Moral victories are for losers and Mora is tired of seeing UCLA lose these kinds of games.

Since 1998, UCLA is 1-24 against teams that finished the season in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll, with the lone victory coming against USC in 2006, when the Bruins kept the Trojans out of the BCS National Championship with a 13-9 upset.

"We're close but it doesn't matter," Mora said. "We're not after being close. Heck with being close. Losers can be close. We want to get it. We want to win those games. The coulda, the woulda, the shoulda -- all that crap, we don't want that. I'm tired of that. It's time for UCLA to turn the freaking page and be something different and win those games. That's what it's time to be."

To read complete column, click here.

Arash Markazi

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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